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MILESTONES: October 31, birthdays for Vanilla Ice, Rob Schneider, Dan Rather

Brooklyn Today

October 31, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Vanilla Ice. Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
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Greetings, Brooklyn. Today is the 306th day of the year.

On this day in 1947, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported that the city may have to shelve construction on Concord Village, the new urban planning initiative between Adams Street and what is now DUMBO. Although a new law gave banks the green light to underwrite this 968-family housing development, construction prices rose by $3 million. Of course, Concord Village did get built and three decades ago, the complex, consisting of 1,023 apartments spread over 17 buildings, was converted from rentals to co-ops.

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On this day in 1862, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page provided a listing of union Democratic and Republican nominations and of elections for town elders and councils in the various wards around Brooklyn. This was during the time of the Civil War, and Brooklyn was still its own city. The Great Consolidation would not happen for another 36 years.

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On this day in 1938, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page reported on the “War of the Worlds” controversy. Producer and actor Orson Welles read the radio script for a Halloween program on the “Mars Invasion” so dramatically that listeners were shocked and frightened into believing this was all real. Consequently, the Federal Communications Commission called the radio script into inquiry and debated how to respond.

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On this day in 1953, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle front page announced the end of a six-day milk delivery strike that affected 12 million people.  Representatives from the American Federation of Labor’s International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 200 involved companies and City Hall officials reached an agreement at 5:30 a.m. that day after a marathon meeting at City Hall. Housewives were being strongly warned not to invade the milk plants, as doing so would only delay the scheduled 2 p.m. start of milk deliveries.

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NOTABLE PEOPLE born on this day include former astronaut MICHAEL COLLINS, who was born in 1930; actress DEIDRE HALL, who was born in 1947; Oscar Award-winning director PETER JACKSON, who was born in 1961; former baseball player FRED McGRIFF, who was born in 1963; musician LARRY MULLEN JR., who was born in 1961; actor DERMOT MULRONEY, who was born in 1963; journalist and TV personality JANE PAULEY, who was born in 1950; actress PIPER PERABO, who was born in 1976; journalist DAN RATHER, who was born in 1931; actor STEPHEN  REA, who was born in 1946; Tony Award-winning stage and screen actor RON RIFKIN, who was born in 1939; actor and comedian ROB SCHNEIDER, who was born in 1963; actor DAVID OGDEN STIERS, who was born in 1942; and rapper and actor VANILLA ICE, who was born in 1967.

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TODAY IS MAGIC DAY. Observed on the anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death, it is a day for magicians to meet and celebrate magic. The magician, illusionist and escape artist died in Michigan in 1926 of peritonitis following an Oct. 19 blow to the abdomen.

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CHAING KAI-SHEK WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1887. The Chinese soldier and statesman was educated at the Wampoa Military Academy. Chiang led the KMT (nationalist) forces in the struggle against the communist army led by Mao Tse-tung and eventually had to flee mainland China. He died in 1975.

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TODAY IS HALLOWEEN OR ALL HALLOW’S EVE. An ancient holiday combining Druid autumn festival and Christian custom, Halloween is the beginning of Hallowtide, a season that embraces the Feast of All Saints (Nov. 1) and the Feast of All Souls (Nov. 2). The observance, dating from the sixth or seventh century, has long been associated with thoughts of the dead, spirits, witches, ghosts and devils.

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JOHN KEATS WAS BORN ON THIS DAY IN 1795. The great Romantic poet is famous for “Ode on a Greecian Urn” and “Ode to a Nightingale,” among many others. Keats died at the age of 25 in 1821.

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MOUNT RUSHMORE WAS COMPLETED ON THIS DAY IN 1941. The memorial was worked on for 14 years and was first suggested by Jonah Robinson of the South Dakota State Historical Society. The memorial was dedicated in 1925, and work began in 1927. The memorial contains sculptures of the heads of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The 60-foot-tall sculptures represent, respectively, the nations’ founding, political philosophy, preservation and expansion and conservatism.

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Special thanks to “Chase’s Calendar of Events” and Brooklyn Public Library.

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“What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.” — Harry Houdini, who died on this day in 1926


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